American Airlines Appears to Be Entering a Death Spiral at New York JFK

US Airways sold much of their operation at New York LaGuardia to Delta for cash and slots at Washington National. They had to give up some of those slots to get government approval for the deal. And they had to give up more slots to get approval for the American Airlines merger. At the end of the day they got a little bigger at National, but traded their irreplaceable position at New York’s close-in airport.

American today could have been a real player in New York. Instead the world’s largest airline doesn’t seem to know what to do – or if they should do anything at all – with the nation’s most important air city.

When US Airways management took over they seemed to think the best strategy would be to back away from competing for business from New Yorkers and be the airline that brought people from other places to New York. They’d compete for business from small cities by timing flights to bring them to New York during the business morning and take them home at the end of the day.

Over the past five years the strategy has shifted to serving business markets from New York. They want to serve business travelers, as any airline looking for a revenue premium does, but fails to realize that business travelers are< leisure travelers. The customers who fly to Los Angeles and London during the week take their families to Florida and the Caribbean on the weekend and for holidays.

It’s unclear exactly what American’s idea of a business market is, though. They don’t serve New York JFK – Zurich. They don’t serve Frankfurt. Or Munich. Or Amsterdam. Or Tel Aviv. There’s no JFK – Detroit, Minneapolis, or Salt Lake. No San Jose, Houston, or Portland.

Or Denver. This last they offered… briefly. Most of their regional feed consists of Embraer ERJ-140s and 145s, 44- and 50-seat regional jets without amenities.

And they keep cutting markets. The latest to go is New York JFK – Orlando, currently served by two daily Boeing 737s, drops from the schedule May 3. American will be down to just one Orlando flight a day — from LaGuardia. Because who ever heard of New Yorkers flying to Florida?

  • What’s more, that leaves Miami as the only New York JFK – Florida flight on American
  • The LaGuardia – Orlando flight leaves before 7 a.m., so it takes away the option of sticking to American for ‘Thursday/Friday after work to Florida’

When you cut a flight at a hub, your cutting connecting traffic for your other flights. You aren’t just eliminating Orlando – New York traffic, you’re cutting Orlando passengers connecting onto London, Madrid, and Paris. All of a sudden without as much connecting traffic, other flights start not to make as much sense. So you cut one of those, too. And now there’s less connecting traffic for your other flights. So you cut another one of those. And the hub enters a death spiral.

American wants to operate flights they can make money on with non-stop traffic. They can send connections through Philadelphia.

  • Except as they cut flights there are fewer and fewer flights they can do this with. Fewer destinations makes the corporate sales team’s job harder.
  • It makes it tougher for elite frequent flyers to stay loyal, too.

Ultimately it seems like spending $300 million and adding bus gates isn’t actually necessary for American’s JFK Terminal 8 to get oneworld under one roof, just wait for a few more flights to get cut.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I mean, what do you want them to do? do you think that every airline needs to fly to every single destination from NYC? I worked at AA and saw the profitability of many of the flights you mention above when they did fly them from JFK. None of them made money.
    Is your solution that every airline should fly to every destination from New York just because it’s New York? Oh, and many of those destinations you mentioned? Detroit? Minneapolis? AA flies to them from LGA, which is the preferred “business” airport, which you seem to be so focused on. Why dont you mention the many “business” markets that AA flies to from LGA, which is the preferred business airport, or does that reality not fit with your narrative you’re trying to convey?
    Why dont you go work for an airline in their management/ route planning department. You seem to know so much about how to run an airline – impart your wisdom and see what happens, instead of just complaining.
    Guess what – an airline, like any company, only has so many resources. It cant be everything to everybody. For whatever reason, AA is just not huge in NYC. Why do you constantly complain and cause a disaster, and lie – as you do about some “business” markets – about it?

  2. They can’t serve business travelers and not serve New York. JFK-LHR, JFK-ZRH, JFK-FRA, JFK-HKG, JFK-NRT are the most premium heavy routes for the finance industry. This is an industry where you fly in J for transpacific, transatlantic and transcontinental business. No needing status to try to get an upgrade ….. AA doesn’t know what it wants to be. Philadelphia and Charlotte will never be premium markets. They are choosing PHL over JFK in the Northeast, and it will not work out well for them in the long-term…..

  3. @Jason : guess which airline was #1 in JFK in 2000 ? That’s right, AA. I don’t have exact data, but very likely, given their prior branding and focus, to be also #1 among business passengers across all 3 NYC airports at the same time period. That was the time when DL’s JFK was a Pan Am remnant in disarray, jetBlue barely arrived, and UA JFK was in its last throes.

    isn’t it funny how the loyalists of the airlines who keep touting how they wanna focus on business passengers keep finding creative excuses when their airline drops business routes (like JFK-ZRH) or business destinations completely (TLV) left and right ?

    AA’s JFK-SFO frequency is close to a joke, and actual business destinations like Shanghai Frankfurt are nowhere to be seen. And that’s before mentioning the ugly fact how 4 airlines have a hub in NYC, and AA is #4 in a 4-airline race (that’s combining all traffic from all 3 NYC airports).

    AA’s NYC collapse (not just JFK) is far worse than any UA LAX problems, so before they make fun of other airlines, perhaps a bit of introspection would be in order.

  4. @henry LAX – in 2000, I worked at AA. Guess what? they may have been #1 at JFK, but they only had 100 flights, if that in total. Even when they were the very vaunted “#1” at JFK, they didnt serve FRA. They did serve ZRH. But they never served TLV. they tried FRA twice and failed. They didnt fly to Japan. They didnt fly to China. They were mostly number “1” because they served a bunch of caribbean destinations (which they’ve dumped), had a lot of flights to London, which they still do. they also flew to South America (GRU, GIG, EZE), which they still do. But no Japan. No China. Japan came back and went away. They had lots of flights to LAX and SFO. But this “mythical” AA use to be this huge big important business airline at JFK is a myth. Why not pick on Delta too? they dont fly to Japan or Asia from JFK. It’s just weird why people just scream and shout. But in reality, these people really have no understanding of the way the airline works, no understanding of the economics, but for some reason feel they need to scream and shout and clamor for some mythical past without understanding that sometimes things change. Deal with it.

  5. Jason, with all due respect there is a big difference in AA today and “yesteryear” Under Parker who could mange Spirit well but not a full service airline let alone a legacy like AA. As long as Parker and team run AA it will continue to decline. The reason their not making any money is the service sucks, planes are dirty and emblematic of the definition of “Sardine Can”. I applaud you for your loyalty to AA it’s admirable however misplaced.

  6. @Jason : “But in reality, these people really have no understanding of the way the airline works, no understanding of the economics, but for some reason feel they need to scream and shout and clamor for some mythical past without understanding that sometimes things change. Deal with it.”

    Yup, same old spiel. Whenever your employer cancels routes and destinations left and right that are completely indefensible, always fall back to the “they’re in for the profits” excuse. And from a passengers perspective, do you think i give one crap about your employer’s profits, or i care about whether their offering serves my flying needs ?

    Only people who work at airlines fall back to the profit excuse, and that’s exactly why they don’t understand why pax are deserting them. Yes, please continue cutting JFK, cuz you know, profits.

  7. Operating costs at JFK have always been ridiculous, and sadly many of their employees historically were unmotivated, rude and abusive towards customers —- I have a VERY LONG MEMORY that goes back decades. And on some routes year after year they used lousy aircraft that very few foreigners wanted to fly on. The ghastly 767 serving Zürich was a great example. Remarkably few Swiss ever wanted to take that flight, especially knowing there were several daily options to/from Newark and JFK on their national airline. So now that ghastly flight serves Philadelphia. Problem solved. It’s all a pity, however, as the flagship first lounge is really astoundingly nice (I mean, we are talking about American Airlines at JFK).

  8. @Jason : oh yea, and sorry loser, other than GIG, there *is* one airline in NYC that actually flies nonstop from NYC to EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of those destinations mentioned by you or Gary, and no, i’ve never worked for any airline on the planet as either employee, contractor, or even volunteer.

  9. @jason
    congrats for the most idiotic comment of the year so far…
    evrybody else makes money on the route EXCEPT AA, the most profitable routes in the world and your drunk boss (you probably still work for AA..) doesn’t know how to do it
    maybe its the crappy service…who knows?
    gary was not complaining, I doubt he will fly gAArbage transatlantic, plenty of other options, he was just pointing out the weakness of your airline

  10. Doug Parker’s low cost airline mentality knows only to penny pinch customers for small changes but cannot see the big picture.

  11. Two comments:

    (1) @Jason: “Why not pick on Delta too?” (a) Part of the problem of the airline executives is that they have no vision. They make all decisions based on “Delta” or “United” or “American”. All three airlines are racing to the bottom, which each airline competing to make worse decisions than the other. (b) “in 2000, I worked at AA”. The English used to say “Penny-wise and pound foolish”. Since you worked at AA, I guess you never heard that phrase.

    (2) @Gary: “tougher for elite frequent flyers to stay loyal”. Ok, so I agree with your comment. However, it made me chuckle, because I do not think American has any more “loyal” “elite frequent flyers” left. Well, maybe Bozo the clown or a masochist like Arthur Denton (played by Bill Murray) in Little Shop of Horrors who also likes going to the dentist for the pain are still loyal to American. All normal people have flown the goose coop, so to speak, because all the golden eggs are gone and all that is left is goose excrement.

  12. NYC is a mess and loses money for the hubs operating there. DCA is the number 3 money maker for AA, so the strategy of getting out of LGA was smart by USAir, but when they merged, they were back in the market as the number 3 carrier. If NYC was a profitable market, Pan Am and TWA would have made money hand over fist and still be in operation (yes I know there were other issues) but still. AA is moving to where they can make money. . PHL, DCA and CLT on the east coast. Keeping a focus city out of JFK hitting major business markets in Europe and the USA and using LGA as the Midwest/ NE landing point into NYC. This makes good business sense. DL has no other east coast options so they have to be big in NYC. UA has Dullas (do I need to say more) Maybe after the terminals at JFK and LGA are brought into the early 21st century from the 1950s they will think differently but the strategy is solid and makes sense. They can be profitable at number 3 and still transport 14 -16 million people a year in NYC, that’s not too shabby.

  13. When I’ve travelled TATL on AA in the last few years (admitted not often, because UA and the SA have so many more TATL options), it’s been through PHL or MIA, never a NYC airport. AA gave up on NYC regional airports a long time ago.

  14. I’m based in NYC and in recent years, I just feel AA is always always delayed when compared to Delta. If AA can fix its maintenance issues with its planes and have a better on-time arrival percentage, I think it can become competitive again in the NYC market. Time is money and arriving at the destination on time is key for most if not all business travelers.

  15. Parker should resign…… he ran a tiny airline well but cannot play with the big boys and it’s showing. The customer service you all complain of comes from the top and how that top is treating its own employees is showing in the very unhappy employees and their service particularly since US Air executives have taken over but actually still fallout from the Don Carty era and his failed strategy. I was proud to fly for AA for 23 years and have many friends still working…… very sad to see this legacy airline falling.

  16. @Sun Viking 82 : it’s it funny how NYC is “a mess” and “losing money” when AA caves, but it used to be one of the 5 “cornerstones” pre-merger ?

    I’m guessing AA love having prestige showboats.

    And guess your fake news right. AA is #4 at NYC in a 4-airline race (see the 12-month rolling column at https://www.panynj.gov/airports/pdf-traffic/REG_NOV_2018.pdf).

    12.3% NYC market share for AA is “not to shabby” but 14.5% LAX market share for UA is “death spiral”. hahhahhahhahaha

  17. @Sun Viking 82 : I’m guessing AA love having prestige showboats. it’s it funny how NYC is “a mess” and “losing money” when AA caves, but it used to be one of the 5 “cornerstones” pre-merger ?

    And guess your fake news right. AA is #4 at NYC in a 4-airline race (see the 12-month rolling column at https://www.panynj.gov/airports/pdf-traffic/REG_NOV_2018.pdf).

    12.3% NYC market share for AA is “not to shabby” but 14.5% LAX market share for UA is “death spiral”. hahhahhahhahaha

  18. How does Parker keep his job? You would think when United left JFK American would expand its operation. American built the best terminal at JFK and not using it to its full capacity!

  19. @jason I can’t comment on the profitability of AA back in 2000 etc…, but here is what I think AA doesn’t get : from NYC I used to be able to take AA flights point-to-point with relative ease for family & work, going down to Fla, the Caribbean, west coast and other points in between. Over the years that ability has been decimated, literally. Whether by cash or on points, but especially in the case of the latter, I am forced to either add a day at either or both ends of a domestic short trip because the times are so ridiculous, or I am forced to connect in Bumblefrack (pop. 2,000). As a result I just don’t fly AA anymore unless it is *literally* the only option. And worse than that for AA, I don’t put any spend on their card co-branded credit cards because AAdvantage now serves only for me to fly on CX and JL (or occasionally IB when heading East). And all of this is before we even talk about the lamentable state of their aircraft (on a recent flight to MAD the “powerport” was a DC plug of the kind you find in a car, there was no seatback entertainment, etc etc).

    To put it more succinctly, AA management seems to be unaware if the concept of network effects (or rather, they seem to not realise network effects works both ways, and at the moment it is to their detriment as a whole).

    It’s a shame, but I guess when a Cactus tries to ride an Eagle the Eagle gets hurt and the Cactus goes nowhere

  20. OK, Jason works or worked for AA and he has the inside perspective. I do realize that airlines are here to serve their shareholders and not the public at large, They serve the public in order to make money for the shareholder owners.
    After stating the above, I am left wondering how they justify the financial help/below interest loans and benefits they were given to enlarge terminal 8 at JFK. Terminal 8 is a ghost town most of the day. I also recently had th pleasure of being stuck in a 767 while they could not find a tractor to pull us into a gate needing a tractor. We eventually pulled into another gate of the totally empty terminal.

  21. AA’s not going to fix NYC until it fixes it’s own management.

    The company – and management – haven’t figured out who their customer is (the business traveler or leisure travelers), and therefore hasn’t figured out what the customer wants or needs. So it imposes something closer to an LCC than a premium airline.

    Same mistake that leads to the failure of the vast majority of start-up businesses: not knowing what the customer wants nor giving the customer what they want. Accordingly, AA will end up with the passenger/customer that finds the product acceptable. Here’s a clue: it’s not the premium business traveler. Sure, they have reams of data on customers going back decades – but that data has lost a lot of meaning as the industry changed. UA still regrets moving so much out of JFK for EWR (a/k/a “the sewer”).

    LGA and JFK are old, tired and dirty. And a bit of a pain to get to. But PHL is about as bad inside and even less convenient to NYC. The only saving grace of PHL is that when your connection from an international flight to LGA or DCA are canceled, it’s really easy to take Amtrak to your final destination and get home same-day.

  22. Again I LOVE how ALL of the negative comments and whining on the entire WWW are form white men! Sad hiwnunhapoybtheubare with their life’s choices(and penis size) that they MUSTbwhine about itnon social media tonmakw themselves feel important and emasculated.

  23. I remember the good old days when AA competed head-to-head with UA for the transcons and offered a great MRTC product on SFO-JFK. Guess those days are numbered.

    In a rare moment of humility, Scott Kirby admitted that that it was a mistake for UA to abandon JFK, for exactly the reasons Gleff describes. Because JFK is a must-have destination if you want to be a major player. Of course UA had the excuse of never having critical mass at JFK, and similarly for LGA or DCA (except for the ORD flights). AA has/had it and yet is squandering the opportunity.
    Wait until the next recession hits, then we’ll see what happens to AA … yet another bankruptcy filing?

  24. One thing to keep in mind: For many New Yorkers, flying out of Newark, NJ is much more convenient. It’s not just convenient, but it’s at a point where people will pay a premium to not have to drive out to JFK or LGA. I’m not sure the exact levels this factors in, but I’m sure it does….

  25. To the guy who used to work at AA who said nothing made money : To keep a competitive and profitable airline one might need to have segments of their network, especially segments with large population centers, that aren’t necessarily profitable on each and every flight. Just because a given flight to or from New York isn’t profitable doesn’t mean that a presence and comprehensive NY schedule doesn’t make for overall profitability or better revenue performance because it keeps people on your airline when they want to go somewhere.

  26. Over time, I think AA drops all JFK routes that don’t go to another hub. JFK becomes just another destination on AA’s route map. I don’t think they will keep JFK-LHR once BA moves into terminal 8 – they can just defer to BA on that route.

  27. I’m based in NYC and i’m sad every time i fly out of JFK T8 – it is EMPTY! even after 4pm with all the european flights – EMPTY
    I used to be based in London and i was ff with BA. when i moved to NYC i kept the same alliance hence i stayed with AA
    but it seems they are not serving me well out of NYC – seriously thinking to move to Delta. i don’t want to , but AA is making me to do so

  28. What about the effects on airplane usage, turnaround times, and delays? Supposedly Southwest turns their planes faster to get an extra flight out each plane every day. If NYC airports are more prone to delays, that 1 round trip to NY might come at the cost of 2 RTs elsewhere.

    And system delays? If that plane is needed to move a full load of well paying passengers from A to B, but the inbound flight (from NY) is regularly delayed, that gets expensive and pisses off customers.

    NY is a bad location for a hub and spreads the o/d traffic across 3 airports. Aside of how proud NYers are of this place, and think of it as the center of the universe, the vast majority of the US population really couldn’t care less.

  29. @Jason

    “I mean, what do you want them to do?”

    I want them to offer a product people want to pay for. It’s possible you know.

  30. I don’t think anyone who has worked at AA recently has any call to throw shade on anyone considering how it has been comprehensively ruined by the America Worst crew.

  31. I grew-up on AA, starting in first class on a 707 AstroJet between ORD-IDL and was loyal for years, including throughout its period in bankruptcy.

    However, their is no possible reason for this management team from America West/USAir should so pathetically flounder in every move they make, as if their is a parallel agenda to tank AA as a premium, full service carrier. Who would benefit from this impending fiasco; what would bets in the stock market reveal?

    Given the acquiescence of AA’s Board to any sense of stewardship to demand accountability, one can only surmise their is an alternative goal here. Why? Because other than the alleged ignorance of the Boards at GE and Wells Fargo, what Board in their right mind would tolerate a management team taking AA down to a third world level?

    When the next recession hits, let’s just see what the impact will be on AA’s route planning, flight scheduling, catering, etc. Indeed, does AA’s management group even have a “Plan B” when the recession hits; or, should we be identifying now what countries do not share with the U.S. a criminal reciprocity agreement..? Yes, really, as no company by accident, or, faking it, operates with such disregard to its customers, employees, and stockholders at risk to financial results!

  32. Frankly, I think Leff laid out a solid business case over the questionable decisions made by AA’s management team. It’s not just about JFK at the center of the universe, but how much connecting traffic from Europe is forsaken by cutting flights from JFK.

    Sad how this management team, so foreign to AA and its proud history, when for so long AA was considered “the business travelers airline,” can break and pillage what they inherited, running AA straight into the toilet.

    As for European flights, who would fly AA when they have Lufthansa and Swiss?

  33. NYC area hubs are fraught with daily and systemic congestion-related delays and weather-related delays and cancellations. It is incredibly challenging to run an efficient operation in NYC. Delays and cancellations obviously negatively impact the synergies hubs rely on for success. Also, burdensome NYC/ Port Authority costs and regulations further hinder cost controls and efficiency.

    I wager a much larger percentage of Jet Blue’s traffic at JFK is local (point to point) vs. AA’s larger share of connecting traffic, invalidating comparisons between AA and JB’s operations at JFK. If AA is slashing routes in the current economic and fuel price environment, one can only imagine these scale backs will intensify once the US economy begins to recess and/ or fuel prices spike.

    PHL is the game changer in AA’s decisions regarding JFK. Remember when airline biz analysts were clamoring for UA to close Dulles in favor of EWR? The argument ran that two hubs so geographically proximal water each other down, thereby dampening the critical mass potential of the other. UA mgmt was all set to close IAD and even brought the author of a white paper on this subject onboard its team to orchestrate the de-hubbing. The state of Virginia, sending another merger hub casualty similar to PIT or CLE quickly countered with financial incentives to entice UA to preserve its hub in Dulles and the plans were scrapped.

  34. JFK can be a pain to connect in. You often have to exit security, take a train to the next terminal & then re-clear security. Almost as bad as LHR. DFW is a dream compared to that.

  35. If anyone remembers AA’s vaunted 1st place position at JFK, a big chunk of it was the dedicated 35 aircraft strong A300 fleet that serviced the DR and other parts of the Caribbean.

    That wasn’t something that was sustainable because those planes were EOL, but AA’s bankruptcy and takeover by US/HP didn’t provide any obvious path to filling that void, so the JFK base withered on the vine.

  36. I wish AA would just own up and say: we’re losing to DL.

    The “business markets” thing makes me giggle.
    –DL finds JFK-MCO enough of a “business market” to sustain four daily A321s.
    –DL finds LGA-MCO enough of a “business market” to sustain five daily trips–four A321s and one A320.

    This isn’t about “business markets;” it’s about them getting crushed by DL to markets that aren’t AA hubs. A few years ago, DL set out to “win New York.” Guess what?: they did.

  37. Again AA would most likely be out of business if not for Parker, and for the downward spiral if it goes down you will also loose that medical, and your retirement, I did with USAIr 2004

  38. This discussion is hilarious because AA is expected to grow profits 40% this year on all these “horrible” business decisions. I guess all these armchair quarterbacks would do better? 🙂

    AA’s NYC competitive position is obviously not stellar. They have to do the best they can with what they have. I will note that despite what many people think (including this blog’s author), NYC is generally not a great moneymaker for USA airlines. Delta, for example, reportedly does not make much money with its JFK operation. Think about that for a moment. All that connectivity, and no profitability? And Gary thinks it’s a “death spiral” for AA to give up what is certainly unprofitable, non-connective JFK-MCO flying? Sigh.

  39. So I read nearly every post and no one gets it. I live in MCO and work out of JFK. That route ending will make me have to fly two legs to get to work or rely on another carrier. But I get why AA is cutting the route. The majority of travelers on the MCO flights are connecting from Europe or Deep South America. We can get those folks to/from MCO via our hubs in CLT, MIA, or PHL. They can make better use of the slot than pushing people through JFK which has much higher operating costs.

    AA does not focus on connecting feed via JFK. If a market can’t be supported with local traffic out of JFK, AA is not going to fly it. This has been the strategy for many years prior to the merger. Like it or not, it is the reality of the situation and it makes sense. If you live in NY, and are a kiesure traveler, you are on JetBlue or are a Delta person. AA is point to point focused at JFK.

  40. My wife and I are both NYC-based Explats (I’m a 6 million miler as well). Most of our flying is either SF/LAX or overseas in paid J or F. The only two things that keep us on AA are the F cabin to/from California and the ability to earn points and status on Cathay. The awful behavior by the FAs on AA metal causes us to fly partners whenever possible. This year we’ve begun doing more European R/Ts in non-OW carriers, and I expect that trend to continue as we do at least two ZRH trips each year.

    We can attest to the fact that loads were not that high on the ZRH route. But the flip side of that was that it was one of the few routes where we could hope to use our SWUs from Y to J. At this point, we only use them from J to F on the transcons, and we usually book far enough in advance that we only save a few hundred dollars doing so.

    There are so few nonstops to the caribbean these days that the benefit of having islands relatively “nearby” is sacrificed by too many destinations requiring a connection – if it is going to take 7 or 8 hours to get somewhere that should take 4, why bother going there when you could go somewhere more interesting with not much more investment of time and a WAY better inflight experience?

    So SWUs have limited value. We do spend premium money on their “profitable” routes, but also need the non-profitable ones in order to justify loyalty. Miles earned on partner airlines seems to be much less than it used to be with the new earning charts, so the points earned on Cathay will dimimnish as an incentive. The cash spent on paid F on Cathay doesn’t seem to count toward whatever the qualifications are for CK, though the opacity of that qualification means we reallly have no way of knowing what we need to do to get that designation.

    Looking seriously at doing a status match on DL for next year. We’d burn our miles the following year on either QF or CX F tix while still an EXP, and then be done with AA.

  41. During the bankruptcy process, it was rumored that Jetblue would be targeted post-BK in an attempt to fix the JFK (NYC) problem. An unmerged, post-BK legacy AA, steeled with much lower operating costs across the board would likely have succeeded in operating much of the Jetblue network ex-JFK.

  42. It seems likely that AA at this point has given up totally on NYC. Given what a ghost town T8 has turned into, will the new strategy just be to get BA moved in with their massive JFK TATL operation and serve them with a few regional connecting routes?

    It’s really sad to see. Surprised that a number of people on here have also commented that AAs former number 1 position at JFK had to do with with their Caribbean flying which they gave up, and seem to think that is natural?

    They used to be the go-to carrier for flights from NYC to the Caribbean, dominating that market after Pan Am’s collapse. Then they simply gave it all up, literally handing that huge leisure market to Jet Blue.

    Their A300 aircraft were EOL fine, why on earth did they not put other aircraft on those routes? These days there is no point booking AA from NYC to the Caribbean as you have to fly through MIA most of the time….

  43. @chopsticks you keep talking about AA’s ‘expecting’ to grow profits 40% as though it’s real.

    They LOST MONEY flying planes last year. CASM > PRASM and indeed their cost of flying was greater than passenger revenue plus cargo!

    And that’s at a time when other airlines were making money. So the notion that they’re business geniuses that know what they’re doing and their critics are just a bunch of pikers is rather ludicrous.

  44. @Edward L Fletcher – that is silly. Parker & Co got lucky that the price of oil plummeted right after they came in. If the AA bankruptcy had come 6-12 months later the whole thing would have played out very differently.

  45. Hey Jason, I’m a retired AA employee myself…I’ll tell ya I’D like for them to do…
    Fire every one of these under-qualified idiots that Parker drug with him into Headquarters One…

  46. I’d recommend that folks here read Chas’s comment, from 3:04PM yesterday. His point, assuming I read it correctly, is that the the delays and disruptions in New York airspace have effects all over the system. That is, a significant part of AA’s business decision to downplay NY may be completely rational – but not explainable in terms of NY-only traffic and profitability.

    I don’t fly AA because AA flying is currently nasty, at least for me in the back. I fly UA; but I try to avoid EWR since delays and cancellations are almost the rule. New York airspace is often a problem.

    Gary: Great post as always, it was news news to me, and very interesting.

  47. janet reuter you r absolutely right , unhappy employees tend to end the existence of a legacy airline.dougie needs to go.

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